A Certainly Numerous Family

The Indo-European languages constitute the largest family of languages on the face of the earth: the majority of the languages of Europe and the Near East belong to it. It includes over 150 languages spoken by approximately 3 billion people.The common ancestor language among them is Proto-Indo-European. It presumably originated in Armenia or in the southern zone of Ukraine.

This grand family is divvied up into the following subfamilies of languages: Albanese, Armenian, Baltic, Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, Greek, Indo-Iranian (includes the Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages) and Italic (includes the Romance languages and Latin). Two of the subfamilies have disappeared: Anatolian (includes the language of the Hittites) and Tocharian.

The traits that demonstrate their alikeness include the following:

1. They all exhibit a high degree of fusion.
2. The morphosyntactic alignment is of the nominative-accusative variety.
3. The number grammatical category is obligatorily marked in both nouns and pronouns as well as in personal forms of verbs. Most only distinguish between singular and plural, though some exist for dual as well.
4. The vast majority possess some type of distinction for grammatical gender, though some languages such as English restrict it to personal pronouns and in other languages, such as Armenian, distinctions of grammatical gender have disappeared completely.